Then & Now: Heinen's
The History of One of Cleveland's Most Photogenic Sites
By Lexi Hotchkiss
In the early 1900s, a walk down the streetcar-lined Euclid Avenue meant coming shoulder-to-shoulder with gentleman in pinstriped sack suits and bowler hats; dress-clad women sporting suffragette sashes; and a newsboy shouting the day’s headlines.
It was an era of unprecedented economic prosperity in Cleveland, and a time when much of the architecture in the city’s Downtown area—that is admired by historians and novices alike—was artfully constructed. This includes the iconic Cleveland Trust Building on the corner of East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue—now Heinen’s supermarket.
It was in 1908 when George B. Post, the renowned architect of the New York Stock Exchange, was commissioned by the Cleveland Trust Bank to design a building to house a larger, more centralized home for its expanding financial operations.
The result was a stunning masterpiece that featured an 85-foot-high, stained glass-enclosed rotunda (reflecting the style of Louis Comfort Tiffany) that illuminated several floors of the building. The marble floors gleamed next to sky-high columns, cavernous arches, opulent balconies, bronze accouterments and a series of hand-painted murals commissioned by famed artist Francis Davis Millet.
While the Cleveland Trust Bank underwent a series of ownership changes and mergers throughout its history—including with Ameritrust Bank—the structure became a prominent fixture of Downtown Cleveland’s landscape.
For more than a decade, the Ameritrust complex (which it came to be known) sat vacant. In 2012, the complex came under the ownership of the prominent, local real estate developer, Geis Companies. The properties underwent a massive $10 million renovation that resulted in a series of new and transformative Downtown businesses.
Inside the building that houses the idyllic rotunda now sits one of Northeast Ohio’s most prevalent local grocery stores—Heinen’s supermarket. This 27,000-square-foot project was spawned from the city’s ever-growing need to provide more grocery shopping options for the swelling Downtown population.
Working with a local architecture firm, Heinen’s was able to seamlessly integrate refrigerated display cases, shopping aisles, wine racks and other elements into the layout of the building in a way that not only preserved its architectural integrity—it enhanced it.
The result is one of the most photogenic spots within the city’s core—not to mention, a great place for a cup of joe and a bite to eat.